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Technical Metal Fab

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by mustangmike6996, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. mustangmike6996
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 147

    mustangmike6996
    Member
    from the D

    I have been kicking around the idea of doing all my metal fab myself. I have been looking at the Eastwood shrinker/stretcher. I was considering the Woodward fab but I would have to get a second body (the W.F. is one body and 2 sets of jaws) from what I gather, swapping the jaws isnt terrible but having 2 bodies helps you fine tune the shape by going back and forth between the 2 tools.... So I have the shrinker stretcher situation under control but I am open to suggestions.

    I would assume that Id need a sheet metal brake and would like a bead roller because I will be (at least I would really like to) fab up replacement floor pans, firewall setback and some other odds/ends. I am somewhat limited on space but ran across

    http://www.summitracing.com/parts/hc...QTmBoCU27w_wcB


    Does anyone have any suggestions on the above link. What would you get if you were in my boat?
     
  2. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 11,367

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    20 ga kinda light weight.
     
  3. mustangmike6996
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 147

    mustangmike6996
    Member
    from the D

    Do you know of something similar that will handle thicker material but isnt huge?
     
  4. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 11,367

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    Not off hand in a combination machine.
    Personally I would get a 3 foot brake and a bead roller then you could just use some pipe or your knee for the work you would do with that slip roll.
     

  5. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,531

    aaggie
    Member

    I didn't want to invest a lot of money so I bought a 36" brake and bead roller from HF. The brake has served me well but I had to do a lot of mods to the bead roller so I could use it on 18 gauge cold rolled sheet. Drilled and tapped holes for grease fittings at the bearing points, welded 1 1/2" square tube along the opening so it couldn't flex then replaced the crank handle with an old steering wheel so I could turn the rollers with my right hand and support and guide the metal with my left. It works great for stuff I do and I don't have much except time invested. I also made a stand so I could move it out away from anything then store it when finished.
    Slip rolls are great if you make a lot of two stroke motorcycle expansion chambers but for the occasional floor hump just look around the shop and find a round object the right size and wrap the sheet around it, cut to size and bend a lip along both edges to attach it to the floors.
     
  6. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 11,367

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    Also check out the home made tool and equipment thread on here lots of good idea's and some show how they reinforced some of the cheap tool store stuff as stated above.
     
  7. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,271

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    don't buy this: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/hc...QTmBoCU27w_wcB

    I bought a big rolling table with a box and pan brake, a slip roll from the 20's, a harbor freight bead roller (which is junk as well until you reinforce it) and one of those things. the cheap cast housing had a big crack in it, and it just looked like Chinese junk. not worth what they are asking at summit, you can get the same one for less at harbor freight, don't buy that one either. I sold my cracked one for 40 bucks.

    if you want to do metal fab I would suggest spending some money on something to cut metal that does not make sparks. cutting things up with a 4" cut off wheel on a grinder gets old after a while.
     
  8. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,556

    oldsman41
    Member

    i did same thing as aaggie with the bead roller and the brake from harbor frt. i did buy the eastwood shrinker strecher combo machine and the same thing is on sale now with 2 heads for 159.00 dollars.
     
  9. metlmunchr
    Joined: Jan 16, 2010
    Posts: 808

    metlmunchr
    Member

    Listen to 49ratfink on those combination machines. They're all pure Chinese junk regardless of the name on them. The one in the Summit link is the small one and there's another bigger one that's about twice the money. Its just a heavier slab of junk. Those things are copies of one that's made somewhere in Europe that actually works good, but the European one is about $5000.
     
  10. BarryA
    Joined: Apr 22, 2007
    Posts: 643

    BarryA
    Member

    I agree on the combination machines - you'd be better off waiting for good used machines to come up, but unless you're doing tons of metal fab (or working commercially) it may be hard to really justify the spend (and space if that is an issue) - many ways of doing the same operations by hand.
    The HF type bead roller has been beefed up many times with good results. When I was last in the US I picked one up just for the rolls - binned the rest and built my own machine back home.
    On the shrinker/stretcher a buddy picked up an HF set for me on a clear-out. I built a second body for the shrinker from plate and bar stock - all cut, drill & weld (no machining) I made it beefier and added about 2" throat behind the jaws. That little bit more depth really does help when you're tuning up a loose edge on a panel, otherwise it isn't a great deal of use beyond curving profiles etc....
     
  11. The HF shrinker stretcher is not a bad tool. Making it reach deeper is a fantastic idea.

    With a bead roller and the right dies and a fence you can easily bend up to 120* or less in any length piece you dare to work with in a straight line.
    With tipping dies you can bend flanges around corners or a radius.
    So that takes care of everything except box and pan bending.

    A GOOD electric set of shears it almost indispensable.
    A Beverly shear gets used a lot .
     
  12. mustangmike6996
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 147

    mustangmike6996
    Member
    from the D

    Great info, thanks again guys. I will most likely get the Eastwood shrinker/stretcher and make my own brake for my work bench.

    I have some shears and I know I have a pneumatic pair somewhere (just need to find out where they are/who borrowed them)

    I wont be doing a ton of fab work right off the bat so putting $$$ into HD equipment is unlikely at this point. I like having skills to do/make/fix anything. Metal fab is something that I have done very little of but would love to learn. Now that Im actively doing my 51 F1 I can apply it.

    And to the 4" cutoff wheel comment, yes, it does get VERY old VERY fast lol.
     
  13. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 11,367

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    Just buy a 36 inch brake you will not be sorry.
     
  14. 55willys
    Joined: Dec 7, 2012
    Posts: 1,696

    55willys
    Member

    Check out Baileigh Industrial tools
     
  15. mustangmike6996
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 147

    mustangmike6996
    Member
    from the D

    Baleigh is nice (from all i have seen/read) but all of their stuff (even scratch and dent) is way out of my price range at this point in time.
     

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